Grocery-Store Bouquets

It's hard to beat the grocery store for all-around convenience: It houses the makings of tonight's supper plus everything you need to put together a stunning floral arrangement in just minutes.

Basic One-Minute Arranging

When you don't have time to be more creative, pump up the impact of a mixed bouquet purchased at the grocery store.

--Cut the stems really short and arrange them in a low, medium-wide vase.
--Group flowers of the same color into clusters, rather than evenly distributing all the different varieties, to create little focal points where the eye can rest.

Bouquet Makeover

A supermarket bouquet you bought for the colors, not the arrangement, can be salvaged at home.

--Take it apart, separating the medium- and large-size flowers from the smaller fillers and greenery.
--Bunch the larger flowers in your hand until you have a grouping you like.
--Gauge the proper height of the flowers by standing them next to the container and trim appropriately.
--Begin tucking in the small and thin flowers and greenery to fill in any gaps left by the larger flower heads.
--Place in a fun container, such as the bright bucket shown here.

One-Color Wonder

One mixed bouquet in varying shades of one color can yield multiple arrangements if you're willing to take the arrangement apart.

--Separate the bouquet into two or three smaller bunches.
--Cut one flower to each stem at varying heights.
--Create several smaller arrangements in jars or colored glasses and group them together or spread them throughout your home for a bit of sweetness in every room.

Target Practice

Grab a few bouquets of zinnias in multiple colors for a playful, low arrangement.

--Gather the blooms of one color in your hand to form a pleasing mound; add a single contrasting color bloom to the center.
--Secure with a rubber band and place in a vase.
--Feed in blooms of another color to form an outer ring and fill the vase.
--Place a bit of greenery, such as bleeding heart foliage, around the outer edge for added contrast.

Just One, Please

There's virtually no arranging to do when you divide a bouquet into single stems and place them in a collection of bottles or glasses.

--To create a pleasing skyline, vary container height and stem length.
--Here, a small coleus leaf in a tiny bottle is the lowest element in the arrangement, which builds in height with fuchsia, helleborus leaf, bleeding heart foliage, Queen Anne's lace, and tall fern.

One-Blossom Stunner

Could this be any easier? Create this high-style display almost instantly with a pretty glass and a single bloom.

--An ice cream dish, a champagne bowl, and a martini glass all make attractive vessels for floating a showy dahlia.
--A bit of fiveleaf akebia vine gives the display an organic quality. Try any handy (nonpoisonous!) garden vine, such as wisteria or trumpet vine.
--With one bouquet, you can make several of these simple arrangements.

Filler Panache

Inexpensive bouquet fillers warrant an arrangement of their own if you know what to do with them.

--Choose flowers with different shapes and colors to give the bouquet more substance, but also take advantage of their long stems and let them stand tall and spare in a slender cylinder vase.

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